DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? ♣ ♠
©winnie caw 2003
(follow the arrows below for more of winnie caw's whimsy, or click on a link)

(from 'The Dance of Anger' by Harriet Goldhor Lerner - Pandora, 1992)

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PURSUERS

  • react to anxiety by seeking greater togetherness in a relationship
  • place a high value on talking things out and expressing feelings, and believe others should do the same.
  • feel rejected and take it personally when someone close to them wants more time and space alone or away from the relationship.
  • tend to pursue harder and then coldly withdraw when an important person seeks distance.
  • may negatively label themselves as 'too dependent' or 'too demanding' in a relationship.
  • tend  to criticize their partner as someone who can't handle feelings or tolerate closeness.

DISTANCERS

  • seek emotional distance or physical space when stress is high.
  • consider themselves to be self-reliant and private persons - more 'do-it-yourselfers' than help-seekers.
  • have difficulty showing their needy, vulnerable, and dependent sides.
  • receive such labels as 'emotionally unavailable', 'withholding', 'unable to deal with feelings' from significant others.
  • manage anxiety in personal relationships by intensifying work-related projects.
  • may cut off a relationship entirely when things get intense rather than hanging in and working it out.
  • open up most freely when they are not pushed or pursued.

UNDERFUNCTIONERS

  • tend to have several areas where they just can't get organized.
  • become less competent under stress, thus inviting others to take over.
  • tend to develop physical or emotional symptoms when stress is high either in family/work situations.
  • may become the focus of family gossip, worry or concern.
  • earn such labels as the 'patient', the 'fragile one', the 'sick one', the 'problem', the 'irresponsible one'.
  • have difficulty showing their strong, competent side to intimate others.

OVERFUNCTIONERS

  • know what's best not only for themselves but for others as well.
  • move in quickly to advise, rescue, and take over when stress hits.
  • have difficulty staying out and allowing others to struggle with their own problems.
  • avoid worrying about their own personal goals and problems by focusing on others.
  • have difficulty sharing their own vulnerable, underfunctioning side, especially with those people who are viewed as having problems.
  • may be labeled the person who is 'always reliable' and 'always together'.

BLAMERS

  • respond to anxiety with emotional intensity and fighting.
  • have a short fuse.
  • expend high amounts of energy trying to change someone who doesn't want to change.
  • engage in repetitive cycles of fighting that relieve tension but perpetuate old patterns.
  • hold another person responsible for one's own feelings and actions.
  • see others as the sole obstacle to making changes.

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How not to be perfect:

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.  

~ Harriet Braiker

*****

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole.  It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.  

~ Goethe

*****

No one is perfect... that's why pencils have erasers.  

~ Unknown

*****

Nothing that is complete breathes.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

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A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault.  

~ John Henry Newman

*****


To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.  

~ Elbert Hubbard

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Only in grammar can you be more than perfect.  

~ William Safire

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Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.  

~ Henry van Dyke

*****

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.  

~ Confucius, Analects

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The most difficult part of attaining perfection is finding something to do for an encore.  

~  Unknown

*****

When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target.  

~ George Fisher

*****


Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence.  ~Rosalynn Carter

*****

There are no perfect men in this world, only perfect intentions.  

~ Pen Densham, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues.  You can't separate them.  They're wedded.  

~ Henry Miller

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Does "anal retentive" have a hyphen?  

~  Unknown

*****

The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four.  Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.  

~ Winston Churchill

*****

Even the best needles are not sharp at both ends.  

~ Chinese Proverb

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I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over.  Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.  

~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano

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Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues.  

~ Hugh Prather

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Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.  

~ William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1605

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Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.  

~ Salvador Dali

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All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.  

~ William Faulkner

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A good garden may have some weeds.  

~ Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.  

~ Stanley J. Randall

[speaking of which - see Things noted on Job Applications ]

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I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being.  

~ Anatole France (Jacques Anatole François Thibault), The Garden of Epicurus, 1894

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He that will have a perfect brother must resign himself to remain brotherless.  

~ Italian Proverb

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You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.  

~ Martha Graham

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When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick.  

~ Bill Lemley

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Living up to ideals is like doing everyday work with your Sunday clothes on.  

~ Ed Howe

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Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness.  We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.  

~ Samuel McChord Crothers

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Finding the Self 

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.  

~ Thomas Szasz, "Personal Conduct," The Second Sin, 1973

*****

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover is yourself.  

~ Alan Alda

*****

Endurance is frequently a form of indecision.  

~ Elizabeth Bibesco, Haven, 1951

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Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.  

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

*****

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.  

~ Dr. Alexis Carrel

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The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.  

~ Julien Green

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There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  

~ Anaïs Nin

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The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.  

~ Richard Grant

*****

All men should strive
to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.

~ James Thurber

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I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of.  

~ Michel de Montaigne

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If you don't get lost, there's a chance you may never be found.  

~ Unknown

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  

~ Henry David Thoreau, 1854

*****

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.  

~ George Moore

*****

If in the last few years you haven't discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse.  You may be dead.  

~ Gelett Burgess

*****

Man never knows what he wants; he aspires to penetrate mysteries and as soon as he has, he wants to reestablish them.  Ignorance irritates him and knowledge cloys.  

~ Amiel,  Journal, 1884

*****

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.  

~ Muhammad Ali

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Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.  

~ Wallace Stevens

*****

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.  

~ G.K. Chesterton, "The Logic of Elfland," Orthodoxy, 1908

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If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe?  The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.  

~ Unknown

*****

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.  

~ K.T. Jong

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There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud.  

~ Carol Shields

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To the question of your life you are the answer, and to the problems of your life you are the solution.  

~Joe Cordare

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Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.  

~ Henry David Thoreau

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No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us.  To live is to be slowly born.  

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

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In search of my mother's garden, I found my own.  

~ Alice Walker

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Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle?  A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.  

~ William Butler Yeats

*****

Learning how to operate a soul figures to take time.  

~ Timothy Leary

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Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.  

~ Matthew Arnold, "Self-Dependence," Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems, 1852

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To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet.  

~ Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, 1825

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No one remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.  

~ Thomas Mann

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Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character.  Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul.  

~ Unknown

*****

If you haven't had at least a slight poetic crack in the heart, you have been cheated by nature.  

~ Phyllis Battelle

*****

There's a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.  

~ Pearl Bailey

*****

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life.  The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.  

~ Mark Twain

*****

He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise.

~ Lao-tzu, Tao te Ching

*****

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.  

~ James A. Froude

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Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.  

~ Alan Watts

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Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it's dark.  

~ Zen Proverb

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We are the products of editing, rather than authorship.  

~ George Wald, "The Origin of Optical Activity," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1975

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To be too conscious is an illness - a real thoroughgoing illness.  

~ Fyodor Dostoevski

*****

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.  Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.  This is a kind of death.  

~ Anaïs Nin

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There are... things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.  

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Notes from the Underground," 1864

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It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.  

~ Lucille Ball

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Oh! that you could turn your eyes towards the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves.  

~ William Shakespeare, "Coriolanus"

*****

It's terrifying to see someone inside of whom a vital spring seems to have been broken.  It's particularly terrifying to see him in your mirror.  

~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

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Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.  

~ St. Augustine

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When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before.  You see more in you than there was before.  

~ Clifton Fadiman

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There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.  

~ Nelson Mandela

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For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.  

~ Clifton Fadiman

*****

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast.  People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there.  They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.  

~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

*****

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.  

~ William Shakespeare

*****

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.  

~ Douglas Adams

*****

We run away all the time to avoid coming face to face with ourselves.  

~ Unknown

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The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one's opinion but rather to know it.  

~ André Maurois

*****

It is a puzzling thing.  The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away.  Puzzling.  

~ Robert M. Pirsig

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A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.  

~ Jean de La Fontaine

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The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this:  decide what you want.  

~ Ben Stein

*****

Those who are brutally honest are seldom so with themselves.  

~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

*****

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. 

~ Buddha

*****

Becoming conscious is of course a sacrilege against nature; it is as though you had robbed the unconscious of something. 

~ Carl G. Jung

*****

We catch frightful glimpses of ourselves in the hostile eyes of others.  

~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

*****

"Know thyself?"  If I knew myself, I'd run away.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

*****

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.  

~ Hugh Prather

*****

And if you find everything as soon as you look for it, you find it in vain, you look for it in vain.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

*****

To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying "Amen" to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive.  

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

*****

Let your heart guide you.  It whispers, so listen carefully.  

~ Littlefoot's mother, Land Before Time

*****

You're always in either first or fifth, but you know there's a lot of great gears in between.  

~ Tony to Angela on Who's The Boss

*****

If a man happens to find himself, he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life.  

~ James A. Michener

*****

It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.  Makes you wonder what else you can do that you've forgotten about.  

~ Alan Ball, American Beauty, 1999

*****

One's own self is well hidden from one's own self; of all mines of treasure, one's own is the last to be dug up.  

~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

*****

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.  

~ Confucius

*****

Your distress about life might mean you have been living for the wrong reason, not that you have no reason for living.  

~ Tom O'Connor

*****

In order to judge properly, one must get away somewhat from what one is judging, after having loved it.  This is true of countries, of persons, and of oneself.  

~ André Gide
 
*****

You cannot fully understand your own life without knowing and thinking beyond your life, your own neighborhood, and even your own nation.  

~ Johnnetta Cole

*****

There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line.
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

~ Indigo Girls, "Closer to Fine"

*****

A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.  

~ Samuel Johnson, Boswell, Life of Johnson, 1783

*****

No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.  

~ George Bernard Shaw

*****

There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.  

~ Josephine Hart

*****

God, why do I storm heaven for answers that are already in my heart?  Every grace I need has already been given me.  Oh, lead me to the Beyond within.  

~ Macrina Wieherkehr

*****

Camouflage is a game we all like to play, but our secrets are as surely revealed by what we want to seem to be as by what we want to conceal.  

~ Russell Lynes

*****

Life ceases to be a fraction and becomes an integer.  

~ Harry Emerson Fosdick, On Being a Real Person

*****

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.  

~ Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

*****


Truth hurts - not the searching after; the running from!  

~John Eyberg

*****

A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.  

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

*****

I... recommend to every one of my Readers, the keeping a Journal of their Lives for one Week, and setting down punctually their whole Series of Employments during that Space of Time.  This kind of Self-Examination would give them a true State of themselves, and incline them to consider seriously what they are about.  One Day would rectifie the Omissions of another, and make a Man weigh all those indifferent Actions, which, though they are easily forgotten, must certainly be accounted for.  

~ Joseph Addison, 1712

*****

It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too.  

~ H.W. Shaw

*****

For souls in growth, great quarrels are great emancipators.  

~ Logan Pearsall Smith

*****
Few people know so clearly what they want.  Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain.  

~ Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams. 

*****

Living is being born slowly.  It would be a little too easy if we could borrow ready-made souls.  

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942

*****

If you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.  

~ Neil Simon

*****

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.  Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.  

~ Oscar Wilde

*****

That's the way things come clear.  All of a sudden.  And then you realize how obvious they've been all along.  

~ Madeleine L'Engle

*****

Just as we outgrow a pair of trousers, we outgrow acquaintances, libraries, principles, etc., at times before they're worn out and times - and this is the worst of all - before we have new ones.  

~ G.C. Lichtenberg

*****

There are joys which long to be ours.  God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.  

~ Henry Ward Beecher

*****

You will never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential, my young friend.  

~ Michael Piller & Michael Wagner, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Evolution," Dr. Paul Stubbs to Wesley Crusher, original airdate 25 September 1989, stardate 43,125.8

*****

"Know thyself" - a maxim as pernicious as it is odious.  A person observing himself would arrest his own development.  Any caterpillar who tried to "know himself" would never become a butterfly.  

~ André Gide, Nouvelles Nourritures

*****

Real birthdays are not annual affairs.  Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth.  

~ Ralph Parlette

*****

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.  

~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams. 

*****
Readjusting is a painful process, but most of us need it at one time or another.  

~ Arthur Christopher Benson

*****

When your heart speaks, take good notes.  

~ Judith Campbell

*****

Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore.  

~ Dorothy Bryant

*****

Everyone is born a king, and most people die in exile.  

~ Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, 1893

*****

Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.  The most important product of his effort is his own personality.  

~ Erich Fromm

*****

Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves.  

~ Robert Neelly Bellah, Habits of the Heart, 1985

*****

The contemplative life is often miserable.  One must act more, think less, and not watch oneself live.  

~ Nicolas Chamfort

*****

The simplest questions are the most profound.  Where were you born?  Where is your home?  Where are you going?  What are you doing?  Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.  

~ Richard Bach

*****

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.  

~ George Eliot

*****

Man can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as... from a lack of bread.  

~ Richard Wright, Native Son, 1940

*****

The truth is that it is natural, as well as necessary, for every man to be a vagabond occasionally.  

~ Samuel H. Hammond

*****

We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognize and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us.  But there are other senses - secret senses, sixth senses, if you will - equally vital, but unrecognized, and unlauded.  

~ Oliver Sacks

*****

There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.  

~ Elizabeth A. Behnke

*****

God hides things by putting them all around us.  

~  Unknown

*****

I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience - and laughter.  

~ Susan M. Watkins

*****

Quality begins on the inside... and then works its way out.  

~ Bob Moawad

*****

Every man has a mob self and an individual self, in varying proportions.  

~ D.H. Lawrence, Pornography and Obscenity

*****

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.  

~ Henry Van Dyke, The Prison and the Angel

*****

We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves.  ~Jean Guitton

*****

We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead.  

~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

*****

The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.  

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

*****

To wash one's hair, make one's toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure.  

~ Sei Shonagon

*****

Man is never alone.  Acknowledged or unacknowledged, that which dreams through him is always there to support him from within.  

~ Laurence van der Post

*****

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.  

~ Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894

*****

Think positively about yourself.... ask God who made you to keep on remaking you.  

~ Norman Vincent Peale

*****

Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves.  

~ Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

*****

I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.  

~ Katherine Anne Porter

*****

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.  

~ Confucius

*****

There are at least two kinds of cowards.  One kind always lives with himself, afraid to face the world.  The other kind lives with the world, afraid to face himself.  

~ Roscoe Snowden

*****

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.  

~ Eckhart

*****

What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart!  What jailer so inexorable as one's self.  

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, 1822

*****

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.  

~ Agnes Repplier

*****

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart.  I am.  I am.  I am.  

~ Sylvia Plath

*****

In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be the gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy.  

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

*****

The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to.  The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.  

~ A.L. Kitselman

*****

We are sure to be losers when we quarrel with ourselves; it is civil war.  

~ Charles Caleb Colton

*****

Sometimes at night I light a lamp so as not to see.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

*****

The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.  

~ Michel de Montaigne, Of Solitude

*****

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title.  

~ Virginia Woolf

*****

It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.  ~Marcel Proust

*****

We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.  

~ W.B. Yeats

*****

Who has not sat before his own heart's curtain?  It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart.  

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

*****

Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

*****

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about.  And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us.  Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.  

~ Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind

*****

Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir.  He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past.  

~ H.F. Hedge

*****

I loathe the expression "What makes him tick."  It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression.  A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.  

~ James Thurber

*****

My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine.  

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

*****

When I look for my existence I do not look for it in myself.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

*****

It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz:  am I proud of me?  I gave my life to become the person I am right now!  Was it worth what I paid?  

~ Richard Bach

*****

Misfortunes one can endure - they come from outside, they are accidents.  But to suffer for one's own faults - ah! there is the sting of life.  

~ Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892

*****

One's only real life is the life one never leads.  

~ Oscar Wilde

*****

A criminal becomes a popular figure because he unburdens in no small degree the consciences of his fellow man, for now they know once more where evil is to be found.  

~ Carl G. Jung

*****

When the fight begins within himself, a man's worth something.  

~ Robert Browning, "Bishop Blougram's Apology"

*****

Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his friend's emancipator.  

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

*****

Some things become so completely our own that we forget them.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

*****

Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him.  Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be.  Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate.  Everyone has it within his power to say, "This I am today; that I will be tomorrow."  

~ Louis L'Amour

*****

Take the time to come home to yourself every day.  

~Robin Casarjean

*****

That's the thing about needs.  Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore.  

~ Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City, "The Good Fight"

*****

There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.  

~ Michel de Montaigne

*****

The only person you should ever compete with is yourself.  You can't hope for a fairer match.  

~ Todd Ruthman

*****

Unjust.  How many times I've used that word, scolded myself with it.  All I mean by it now is that I don't have the final courage to say that I refuse to preside over violations against myself, and to hell with justice.  

~ Lillian Hellman

*****

Only you can set you free.  

~ Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"

*****

I say me, knowing all the while it's not me.  

~ Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable, 1953

*****

Everything that I bear within me bound, is to be found somewhere else free.  

~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

*****
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself.  

~ Ethel Barrymore

*****

I am my own heaven and hell!  

~ J.C.F. von Schiller

*****

Falling, falling, falling, falling down.  Look yourself in the eye before you drown.  

~ Emily Saliers, "Center Stage," Indigo Girls, 1989

*****

We must be our own before we can be another's.  

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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